Stress, problems, and more stress.

Stress_ThinkingLife is a tricky balancing act between insanity and necessary tasks.

Between Canada shoveling their show slightly south on us, and random issues going on with myself, I haven’t had much time to sit down and write. I’ll try to make a list, but I’ll warn you now, brain is fried.

My MacBook Pro (the big expensive one) I use for all my writing and school work will no longer hold a charge because the MagSafe port shorted out. When I went downstairs to my workbench, I noticed some strange streaking down the front of the monitor and saw a puddle underneath the laptop. What apparently happened is one of the kids (I assume one of the twins) dropped one of their sippy cups full of juice down by the heat register and the juice seeped down between the cracks and dripped down enough to agitate the power cable. The rest of the computer is working great, except it won’t charge. When I called AppleCare, they had me set an appointment for the Apple Store in Detroit. It’s not actually *in* Detroit, more like an hour north, but I obliged and took my laptop there. After the tech (who knows some of the Apple engineers I work with, small world, eh?) told me it would have to be sent out to the Apple Depot and prices for liquid damage start at $1,100 for logic board replacement, I decided to order the parts and do it myself.

At home, I logged on Amazon and ordered the DC MacSafe switch for my i7 processor model MacBook Pro, and now I wait for it to arrive so I can replace the part and hope that’s all that’s damaged internally.

Funny, when something you use every day is no longer there to keep you company, it’s like the first week of living with a cast on your arm or with crutches – trying to re-learn how to do everyday tasks is a chore.

Next up is the sickness: everyone except my oldest son has some sort of sniffles or flu. I’m plagued with this post-nasal drip and accompanying cough with gives me the helpful migraines and shortness of breath I know and love. I should stop smoking, especially with this cold weather, which I’ll get to in a bit, but none of it helps the overall mood. My daughter is sniffling and coughing up phlegm, the twins don’t have fevers anymore but still have the hacking cough when they run too much and become overheated. My wife is doing better but still needs the inhaler to catch her breath and maybe a glass of wine with the body aches. I spoke with my neighbor over the weekend and she said her household had a case of the flu that had everyone out for the count around Christmas, so the bugs and viruses are still active and kicking booties.

Next up is the weather: I live just north of Detroit. If you’ve seen the movie 8 Mile with Eminem, I’m a few miles north. Looking at a map, we’re geographically north of Canada. Here’s a little trivia for you: In the Journey song Don’t Stop

detroit_mapBelievin’, the verse Steve Perry sings “Just a city boy, born and raised in south Detroit.” (Journey, 1981) South Detroit doesn’t exist. There is a southwest Detroit, but south of Detroit is Windsor, Ontario. The point is this: in winter it gets very cold. Add in the fact that we’re surrounded by water and there’s a small body of water every 30 miles or so (more frequent in certain areas), and the winds and snow become unbearable.

Yesterday, I shoveled a significant amount of snow each time I went outside. Maybe 8-9 times I shoveled the porch, walk, sidewalk, and driveways of me and my neighbor. With all the back problems I’ve had in the past (large cysts around my spinal column), this snow doesn’t help. The wind came in last night around 11pm or midnight and dropped the temperature well below zero, making standing outside making one question why one lives in a desolate wasteland. It doesn’t matter if the new Superman and Batman movies are filmed here with Transformers, even Superman would fly back to Smallville with a shrunken package. This week, the windchill makes temperatures me and chewsbetween -20 to -40 with strong winds, making the snow drifts worse than they already are. Right now, the snow is up to my bumpers without the wind helping. The side door of my house can’t open thanks to the drifts, so I’m glad most of the schools decided to cancel classes. I’m surprised in situations like this that they don’t offer an online option. (Yes, that’s me with Chewy. It’s his first time in the snow and I think he believed he was Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with Snowballs on his, well, you know.)

I’m also in the middle of writing a handful of different stories and reviews. I have two short stories in first draft form for an anthology with a writing group for the Round Table podcast. The problem is I typically don’t write this genre of fiction, so I’m testing the waters with different stories and for some reason they keep getting stranger, which I don’t mind. I plan on submitting them all, or maybe having my wife read them and tell me which one she enjoys the most and submitting that one for the project. For the month of January, I want to write a total of 30,000 words in fiction, so this blog won’t count unless I want to cheat, but I’d only cheat myself, and there’s no point in doing that. The project which I’ve mentioned before involved sexy funny and violent stories, and mixing the three is the challenge. Getting into that mindset is the difficult part, since I’m normally funny and sexy, just not violent.

I’ve also been neglecting this blog, which I feel is something I beat myself up for more than I should, which in turn hurts my depression, which tumbles down to making everything spin into a downward spiral. I stop eating, I stop writing, I lose sleep, I get cranky, and I just generally shut myself off from the world and my brain eats itself alive for some stupid reason. Add in the problems with the MacBook, the snow, the stress from being sick, work ramping up, writing deadlines, and trying to get words on a page when all I want to do is stare out the window, depression is the biggest part of my lack of writing anything. So for that, I apologize.

Add in the fact that I start my advanced SQL class Wednesday, it doesn’t help the stress factor.

I may do a few free-writing exercises on here to help get the creative juices flowing and see how they go, but be warned: it’ll be rough and most likely will not make much sense.

Now it’s time to publish this and get back to work. My meeting is almost over.

-Chris

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